A letter addressed to the state’s chief inspector general from this past Monday saw Florida Governor Ron DeSantis ordering her to look into a recently signed last-minute agreement that the Reedy Creek Improvement District established with Walt Disney World.
On the way out the door, the old board went into an agreement that sought to transfer its power over to the company directly back on the 8th of February, and the agreement was recorded within the Orange County Comptroller on February 9 — the very same day that a piece of legislation passed in the Florida House which altered the name of the Reedy Creek Improvement District to the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District and forced the removal Disney’s self-appointed board and replaced it with a different board set in motion by the governor.
An email coming from DeSantis’ office stated that “all legislative options are back on the table” in response to the actions taken by the Reedy Creek Improvement District.
The governor stated in a letter addressed to Chief Inspector General Melinda Miguel and Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Mark Glass, that the agreement was “designed to usurp the authority of the CFTOD board.”
“These collusive and self-dealing arrangements aim to nullify the recently passed legislation, undercut Florida’s legislative process, and defy the will of Floridians,” stated DeSantis. “In addition, based on initial observations of counsel, the RCID board’s actions appear to suffer from serious legal infirmities, including, among other things, inadequate notice, lack of consideration, improper delegation of authority, and ethical violations, such as conflicts of interest and self-dealing.”
The governor formally put in a request that Miguel, while consulting with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, kick off an in-depth review and investigation regarding the actions of the old board.
DeSantis explained that the investigation should make use of an analysis of the following:
- RCID’s adherence to applicable Florida civil and criminal laws and ethics requirements;
- The qualifications of RCID’ s prior Board of Supervisors and the legal validity of their actions;
- Any financial gain or benefit derived by Walt Disney World as a result of RCID’s actions and RCID’s justification for such actions;
- All RCID board, employee, or agent communications related to RCID’ s actions, including those with Walt Disney World employees and agents; and
- The involvement of Walt Disney World employees and agents in the execution of RCID’s actions;
- All RCID board, employee, or agent communications related to House Bill 9-B, Reedy Creek Improvement District, Orange and Osceola Counties, and the CFTOD.